"I didn't want to rob my kids of their own character."
So says a dad who found that extreme wealth wasn't the proverbial peaches and cream that many Americans envision it to be. That father instead had concerns and misgivings about his family's fortune after he sold a profitable business and retired with many millions of dollars.
His dilemma, which is echoed by other high-asset families in a recent media piece focusing upon the singular estate planning needs of many wealthy individuals: the well-being of his children and future family generations.
More specifically, his concern was that immense family wealth, if simply made available at all times to his kids without any corresponding effort on their part to obtain it, would weaken them by eliminating the opportunities for personal growth provided by hard work and the overcoming of obstacles.
Reportedly, that is a concern shared by many wealthy Americans. One psychologist who co-authored a study on the subject said that he was surprised by "how consistent and how sincere respondents were about the future of their children."
That certainly doesn't surprise an experienced estate planning attorney, who knows that the concerns of wealthy planners often encompass the dual desire of providing for younger family members without undermining their personal spark and creativity as they experience life.
Sound and well-tailored estate planning can admirably address any such concern, with many planning tools being available to promote goals and outcomes across a broad spectrum.
The aforementioned media story addresses the subject of trust funds, for example, which command broad flexibility for their ability to impose conditions on the timing, amount and stated purpose of wealth disbursed. It additionally mentions charitable trusts, which can "be a means of infusing the family's wealth with meaning."
There are myriad creative ways that a planner can provide for loved ones and instill values at the same time. A proven estate administration attorney can help identify and implement a sound and tightly tailored scheme for implementing them.